• CongressDailyAM (subscription) looks at the Kentucky Senate race between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democrat Bruce Lunsford. "Just one day after Lunsford captured the May 20 primary with 51 percent of the vote, McConnell was on a conference call with the state's political press, daring Lunsford to answer questions about the budget and energy policy and predicting that he and Democrats will run an overtly negative campaign."
• "Just as DFL activists begin streaming into" Rochester, Minn., "for a state convention that starts today, their top U.S. Senate candidate, Al Franken, is fending off still more slings on his troubled road to the nomination," the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. "On Thursday, an e-mail surfaced from one of the state's leading abortion-rights groups, Planned Parenthood, denouncing an article he wrote for Playboy in 2000, calling the piece misogynistic and degrading to women."
Dems 2008: Clinton And Obama Hold Secret DC Meeting
• "On the first full day after Hillary Clinton signaled their rivalry was over, Barack Obama campaigned in Bristol, Va., on the Tennessee border, wasting no time reaching out to the sort of rural and small-town white voters who shunned him in the Democratic primary -- and he'll need for election in November," the Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports.
• The Washington Post reports on Obama's campaign stop later in the day in Northern Virginia.
• Obama and Clinton "came together" in Washington "Thursday evening to pull off a secret rendezvous," the New York Times reports. "They ditched their traveling entourages, eluded camera crews across town and startled many of their own advisers as they held their first private meeting since becoming archrivals for the Democratic presidential nomination."
• "The first day that" Obama "campaigned as the truly-presumptive Democratic nominee looked like most others," the Politico reports, perhaps "because Obama entered the race as an atypical candidate, attracting general election-sized crowds from the start, gobs of media attention and a Secret Service detail."
• "Several organizations have emerged to motivate voters to sign petitions and write letters to the Obama campaign to protest the picking of anyone other than the former first lady to be the Democratic candidate for vice president," the Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports. "At least five independent groups have formed recently to push an Obama-Clinton ticket through Web sites and mass emails to members of the media. Some of the better-funded groups hope to air television ads pushing their cause."
• But Clinton "'is not seeking the vice presidency,' her campaign said in a statement," USA Today reports. "The statement did not categorically rule out accepting the position, if offered, but rather appeared to be an effort to tamp down any effort to try to pressure Obama over the issue."
• "Clinton would agree to be" Obama's "vice presidential running mate if offered the slot on the Democratic ticket," Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said this morning, AP reports.
• The Politico looks at how longtime Clinton supporter Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., influenced her decision to concede to Obama. "In public statements and on a crucial afternoon conference call, he told Clinton it was time to go. And Rangel, for reasons of state politics, personal history, and race, was not a man Clinton could afford to ignore."
• "Clinton will likely seek help from Obama in retiring her massive campaign debt, which has swollen to more than $30 million, including $11 million she lent the effort, advisers said Thursday," AP reports.
• "As the country prepares for the first general election pitting a black presidential candidate against a white candidate, race continues to be the wild card," the Wall Street Journal reports. "Some argue that" Obama's "background will hurt him among a sliver of voters, perhaps 10% or more, who say they take race into account. Others argue it may well be a benefit, boosting turnout and even insulating him from some criticism."
• "Obama's decision to tell the Democratic National Committee to stop taking money from lobbyists isn't likely to dent fundraising efforts because the policy only applies to current federal lobbyists," the Washington Times reports. Obama's "decree doesn't rule out contributions from past lobbyists, unregistered lobbying firm partners or statehouse lobbyists."
• "The Republican Party has set its sights early in the general election on" Obama's "ties to Chicago businessman Tony Rezko, who was convicted Wednesday of mail and wire fraud, improper solicitation and money laundering," the Washington Times reports. "The RNC is pushing the issue much harder than" Republican nominee John McCain's campaign.
• The RNC "had already been piling up reams of opposition research, some of which it had already released, that it will use to define Obama before he has a chance to recover from the primaries," The Hill reports. "When Obama woke up as the presumptive nominee Wednesday, his opponents on both the national and state level lowered the boom."
• Obama "is already besieged by liberal constituencies demanding that he cut military spending to boost social programs," The Hill reports. "Two influential liberal groups have sent the presumptive Democratic nominee a letter pressing him to support cuts to defense programs to pay for universal preschool, relief for Americans facing foreclosure on their homes and expanded benefits for military veterans."
GOP 2008: McCain Agrees With Bush On Wiretapping
• "A top adviser to" McCain "says Mr. McCain believes that President Bush’s program of wiretapping without warrants was lawful, a position that appears to bring him into closer alignment with the sweeping theories of executive authority pushed by the Bush administration legal team," the New York Times reports.
• In an interview with USA Today, "McCain said he won't try to 'separate' himself from a weakened" Bush "or his unpopular handling of the war in Iraq to try to win the general election," and "also made it clear that he would emphasize his steadiness and experience -- particularly on national security issues -- to counter the vibrancy and oratory skills that have made Obama a sensation on the campaign trail."
• But McCain "will not attend" Bush’s "fundraising dinner for congressional candidates -- another indication that the GOP nominee is distancing himself from the man he wants to replace," The Hill reports.
• "Buoyed by polls showing a quarter or more of" Clinton's "supporters planning to back McCain, his advisers have already started wooing the white working-class voters and women who made up the bedrock of her coalition," the Washington Post reports. "They plan to echo and expand the former first lady's critiques of Obama: that he is out of touch with Middle America and too unseasoned to be president."
• "McCain’s presidential campaign raised at least $21.5 million in May -- its best fund-raising month yet -- in a sign that its effort to draw donations in tandem with the Republican National Committee is yielding dividends," the New York Times reports. "The two organizations raised a combined $45 million last month," which "left the campaign with $31.5 million in the bank at month’s end and the Republican National Committee with $53.6 million, much of which can be used to help Mr. McCain."
• "Is there a way" McCain "can win the presidency without giving another speech?" the Politico asks, looking at McCain's oratorical shortcomings as compared to Obama.
• The New York Times profiles McCain adviser and ousted Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. "She is typically described as an economic adviser to the candidate. To some extent, she is. But Mr. McCain’s campaign advisers say her real role within their testosterone-heavy circle matters more: A high-profile female face for a candidate whose support among women lags substantially behind that of his Democratic rivals."
• "McCain was confronted Thursday about why he opposed an Everglades restoration measure that had broad support from Florida officials, including Republican Gov. Charlie Crist and GOP Sen. Mel Martinez," AP reports. "McCain also drew criticism from" Obama "for opposing another Florida priority, a national hurricane insurance fund."
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